Nathan Grey is a fan of this year?s newest rugby innovation but the Waratahs assistant feels the code doesn’t need a new State of Origin.
NSW and Queensland have been in talks this week over the possibility of introducing a rugby version of rugby league?s State of Origin, with everyone from ARU CEO Bill Pulver to Wallabies captain Stephen Moore throwing their support behind the idea.
Grey, who is originally from Queensland but played for NSW, said he felt the Reds vs Waratahs was a fierce enough north-south rivalry, a game that will only come once this season under the new Super Rugby format.
?I think the format of rugby at the moment in terms of Super Rugby, it’s unfortunate we’re only playing the Reds once this year,? he said.
?Those games are the Rugby Union equivalent of the State of Origin and I think if you go trying to throw comparisons to the two it’s crazy.
?The uniqueness of the rugby league State of Origin, the history and whatnot, you look at hat in an isolated lens and then you look at the rugby union rivalry for the Templeton Cup.
?I know as a player how much that cup was revered and I know the boys when we play have held it for a while now.
?That trophy means an awful lot to both the teams and franchises. I think we play, we like playing the Reds anytime. Every time we play them in Super Rugby, that’s the equivalent of the State of Origin.?
Drew Mitchell, speaking after his side’s final game in Brisbane, echoed Grey’s sentiment, citing the different domestic formats.
“I don’t know, I think it’s different in rugby league because they play for a club and they go play for a state and they go back to their club,” he said./p>
“Here they’re playing for a state, go play for a different, go back to a different state, that part I’m not too sure about.
“I like the concept, I like the idea of the rivalry and I always grew up loving State of Origin but just the whole wearing blue and saying, ‘we bleed blue’, one week and then going to play in a Queensland jersey and then going back to it, that I’m not too sure about.
“But if I was smarter I’d be making those decisions, but I’m not.”
Israel Folau is one of the few current players who has featured in State of Origin clashes as an NRL player, but said he hadn?t given much thought to the rugby concept.
?It’s been tossed around here and there but I’m not too sure. I haven’t really put too much thought into it until it comes to life and you start thinking about it a bit more. At the moment, I’ve put no thoughts into it.
Despite declaring his allegiance to Queensland in the past, Folau said he would don the sky blue when asked on Sunday.
Folau was the only regular Wallabies starter to feature in the Waratahs? Tens side and played just the opening match of their three clashes.
The back said he would have been happy to play a bigger role but the Waratahs opted to keep him in cotton wool, with Super Rugby around the corner.
?I?m always pretty keen for a run but obviously listening to what the coaching staff advised, it’s always, for me as a player, they’re just looking out for what’s best for me and I guess the mindset is looking ahead to that Super Rugby season which is what is really important to us,? he said.
NSW will likely show off their first-choice Super Rugby side on Thursday, in their trial against the Highlanders at Brookvale Oval, with only Rob Horne (shoulder) and Cam Clark (ankle) on the casualty list.
Volkswagen, Ford, Toyota and BMW have all been linked with potential returns to the championship in recent weeks.
However the latest reports coming out of German media sources have poured cold water on those suggestions, and it seems that there is a lack of manufacturers currently planning any new significant role in Formula One in the foreseeable future
Auto Bild correspondent Michael Zeitler reports that a move into F1 for the German giant Volkswagen is now considered unlikely with the company still embroiled in the diesel emissions scandal.
The sport’s locked-in turbo V6 engine specifications is also a put-off for the car maker, according to Zeitler: “A foray for Volkswagen only makes sense from 2021.”
The report added that neither Toyota and BMW are reconsidering their decision to pull out of the sport in 2009.
There had been hopes that new US ownership for Formula One might tempt American motor giant Ford into the fray, but Cologne newspaper Express said that any such chances were now effectively over.
“‘No’ is the answer from Detroit,” insisted correspondent Oliver Reuter this week.
Ford Performance director Dave Pericak told reporters last week that Formula One was still simply too expensive, adding: “I don’t see us getting into that any time soon.”
Sophia Moore, 12, studies the chessboard during the second round on Saturday. Moore, a Las Cruces resident and the New Mexico Girls Champion, went on to beat her opponent in this game.(Photo: Tara Melton/Daily News)Buy Photo
ALAMOGORDO?? Players from Las Cruces and El Paso made the trip to Alamogordo on Saturday to compete in a chess?tournament hosted by Endgame Chess.
The event, held at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center’s conference rooms,?was a Swiss-system tournament. In a Swiss-system tournament, players meet one-to-one in each round and are paired using a set of rules designed to ensure that each competitor plays opponents with a similar running score, but not the same opponent more than once. The winner of the tournament is the competitor with the highest points earned after three rounds.
The cream of the crop were present in Saturday’s tournament, including Philip Bauer who sits?8th in the state,?Matt Grinberg who is?a three-time New Mexico Senior Champion,?Vaughan Heussenstamm who won?$20,000 in a Las Vegas tournament and Sophia Moore, 12, who is the New Mexico Girls Champion.
During Saturday’s tournament at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, 12 people played against each another in three rounds.?(Photo: Tara Melton/Daily News)
Sophia?said she plays chess because she wants to become an emergency room doctor.
“I need to be able to think on my toes and react quickly and sometimes chess helps me do that,” she?said. “It helps me make important decisions and that can either make me win the game or lose it.”
Will Barela,?tournament organizer, agreed saying that many of their older guys play to stay sharp.
“It helps with cognitive thinking, problem-solving, personal development,” Barela said. “They’re still aspiring to be something and to help us out and help us grow. It’s a fun sport ? there’s lots of competition, lots of emotions involved. It’s a great thing.”
He said the tournament in Alamogordo?was a tribute to one of their greatest supporters,?Matt Grinberg, who is an Alamogordo resident.
“We started doing this at the end of November of 2014 and since then we’ve been able to host about 50 events a year, due to (Grinberg’s)?support, his communication and his leads,” Barela said. “He goes with us to El Paso, Albuquerque and different parts of the U.S. to play. This is kind of like a tribute and a thank you just for?Matt.”
Grinberg, who spent 25?years as a computer programmer, said he’s always been one to solve puzzles.
“What I really liked about computer programming was the problem-solving and the logic,” Grinberg said. “As far as computers are concerned, I?really don’t like computers, but I like logic. Chess, to a large extent, is logic.”
Grinberg, who was the only local competitor in the tournament,?hopes to get more of his fellow Alamogordoans involved in chess. The Alamogordo Chess Club meets?every Monday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Plateau Espresso, 2724 Scenic Drive.?All players from beginner to expert are welcome for friendly chess and there is no fee.?For more information, contact Grinberg at 415-3628 or email him email@example.com.
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There?s still another week remaining until ?big league? stock car racing hits the high banks at Daytona International Speedway but there?s no shortage of short track action available to consume on Saturday with a pair of events in South Carolina and Califonia respectively.
Both the Myrtle Beach Icebreaker and the Kern County Winter Showdown can be viewed over the internet and feature some of the biggest names in the discipline. The Kern County Winter Showdown is a Super Late Model race featuring the likes of Kyle Busch, Erik Jones and Bubba Pollard. The Myrtle Beach Icebreaker will be main-evented by a 50-lap Tour Type Modified feature and a 125-lap showdown for the NASCAR All-American Series Late Model Stock Cars.
So how can you watch these two events?
The Myrtle Beach Icebreaker will have a free broadcast on both NASCAR’s FansChoice.TV streaming service or on the local South Carolina HTC streaming provider. Late Model qualifying begins at 12:15 p.m. ET with racing starting at 1:45. The event also features vintage, mini stock and charger races. The Modifieds and Late Models are tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.
The Kern County Winter Showdown will be broadcast live on Speed51.com?s 51TV digital pay-per-view service, 51TV. The full raceday can be purchased for $29.99. That price includes both the 250-lap main event and a 50-lap Lucas Oil Modifieds feature. Since qualifying was rained out on Friday, time trials will be included.
The broadcast for this event begins at 6 p.m,. ET or 3 p.m. locally in Bakersfield, California.
An entry list for the three main events across the two shows have been provided below.
The baseball drifted into short right field and Ernie Clement took off.
Clement was a second baseman now, a few months removed from being a left wing. He had replaced skates with spikes and a stick with a glove. But that didn?t stop Alan Ross, beginning to rise off his bleacher seat, from watching the highlight develop as if he were rink-side.
First there was the burst.
Clement?s jump on the blooped shot over his head paralleled his ability to find open ice.
?He had that quick first step,? Ross said, ?that ability to go zero to 60 in no time, just blow away from the defense.?
Clement successfully dived for the once-destined hit, robbing the batter of a single like he would dodge a defenseman?s crushing check.
?One of the things about Ernie,? Ross said, ?he would jump around the opponent. He would go flying at times because of his speed. It?s a dangerous move because if you get caught, you could go airborne.
?But it was the nature of his play. He never slowed down.?
Finally, the bounce-back.
Clement, a 150-something high schooler, didn?t wince upon leaving a head-on collision with the outfield grass.
?He?d take on guys 20, 30 pounds larger than him and win the battle,? Ross said. ?He just had this innate ability to excel in the moment.?
Ross, Clement?s high school hockey coach in Rochester, New York, had seen him shine in pads dozens of times before his above introduction to Clement in a ball-cap.
The flair wasn?t limited to a specific arena.
?I think Ernie could have been a five-sport athlete if he wanted to,? Ross said. ?He once wiped the floor with me in table tennis. I don?t how to describe him other than an athletic prodigy.?
Virginia is going on three years of benefitting from this kind of talent. After an upbringing that included hockey, football, soccer and the occasional dominating round of ping-pong, Clement settled on his first love for college. He?s now a College World Series champion, an ACC regular season hits king, a 2017 preseason All-American and the latest to carry the torch for a longtime UVa tradition.
?We?ve had a lot of competitive guys in this program,? said 14-year Cavalier coach Brian O?Connor, ?but some of our biggest competitors have played multiple sports.?
O?Connor opened his office door and yelled down to a small group of Cavaliers playing catch along Davenport Field?s third base line.
?Hey Novak,? he hollered to his shortstop, ?you played high school basketball, didn?t you??
?Yeah,? confirmed the 5-foot-9 165-pounder.
?Power forward,? O?Connor said while grinning to a reporter and closing the door.
Memory of Justin Novak?s hoops career originally slipped O?Connor?s mind when The Daily Progress arrived for insight on UVa?s history of recruiting multi-sport athletes.
?It?s very rare nowadays,? O?Connor said some 20 minutes earlier. ?I would say you?re seeing a trend across all sports in this country of guys and ladies specializing in one sport early on. It?s sad.?
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association released a study in December noting that while there?s been an increase in children ages 6-17 playing a team sport ? 28.6 million in 2015, up three million from 2013 ? the average number of sports such kids are participating in is decreasing. In 2015, according to the study, children ages 6-17 were participating in an average of 1.89 sports. That?s a dip from 2.09 two years earlier.
?I think anywhere from our sixth or seventh year, people started specializing,? said UVa associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Kevin McMullan. ?We?ve been here 14 years now.?
McMullan, the son of an NFL player, was an All-American in both football and baseball at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before O?Connor exclusively became a pitcher at Creighton University, he was a quarterback and point guard at Saint Albert High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Virginia pitching coach Karl Kuhn was a high school basketball player in Gainesville, Florida.
The trio of 596 wins, four College World Series appearances, two ACC championships and a national title still tries to find its own on the recruiting trail.
?Multi-sport guys,? McMullan said, ?I?d love to have 35 of them. But it?s not going to happen because there?s specialty guys since day one.?
The O?Connor-McMullan-Kuhn era was given an early lift with the arrival of Brandon Guyer in fall 2004.
A four-year letter-winner as a running back and linebacker at Herndon High School in Northern Virginia, Guyer came to Davenport Field with third base aspirations.
That is, until he noticed his competition.
?He saw Ryan Zimmerman,? McMullan recalled, ?and said, ?I?m not going to play over that guy. Play me wherever you want to play. I just want to play.??
An opportunity existed in the outfield. After a brief tryout that had its initial stumbles ? ?Little bit rough,? remembered McMullan ? he went on to start 26 games in left field as a freshman.
Part of Cleveland?s platoon in right field since August, Guyer recently signed a two-year contract worth at least $5 million with the reigning American League champion Indians. Next season will be his sixth in the bigs. He?s made 216 career OF starts.
?He worked at his outfield skills like he was trying to prove something,? McMullan said. ?In football, your guard?s up all the time because you never know when you?re going to get one in the ear-hole. So your attention to detail and your awareness is a little bit different than your typical maybe just a baseball guy who maybe loses focus for three or four or five pitches.
?Those football guys, they don?t lose focus that often because they?re at a high level of risk if they do lose their attention.?
Guyer?s pre-UVa profile can be now compared with the likes of current Cavaliers Jake McCarthy, St Anne?s-Belfield alumnus Jalen Harrison, Evan Sperling and Clement.
Former Wahoos of note from a similar multi-sport background: Joe McCarthy, Mike Papi, John Hicks, Steven Proscia.
?I think they?re just looking for those tough kids that are willing to put the team first and to go about their business in a team-oriented way,? said Proscia, a decorated high school football player in New Jersey who went on to star for UVa?s first CWS teams in 2009 and 2011 and is now a student assistant with the program. ?Baseball is sometimes overlooked as a team sport because there?s a lot of individual statistics and stuff like that, but that kind of mentality, dealing with adversity, having accountability, all the things we preach here as a program I think we?ve acquired through different sports and have put them all together.?
After committing to the Cavaliers before his junior year of high school, Jake McCarthy never planned on clearing his athletic schedule.
Football was to still be played in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring.
Jake?s path through Scranton (Pa.) High to UVa was going to parallel the accomplished road his older brother took to Grounds.
?That was something I knew from when they recruited Joe,? Jake said. ?I knew they recruited the multi-sport athlete. They liked the idea of keeping guys competitive all year round instead of just playing baseball for six months out of the year.?
Such a desire isn?t exclusive to Virginia. Aaron Fitt, who covers college baseball on a national level for D1Baseball.com, estimates most coaches ?value the multi-sport guys.?
Why? No. 1, skills developed in other arenas are transferrable to a diamond.
?Hockey and football players,? Fitt said, ?coaches always talk about the hockey mentality or football mentality those guys have, a toughness there.
?And then there?s hand-eye stuff, various muscle groups you?re using. There?s a lot of potential benefits.?
No. 2, chances for arm damage are lessened when baseball is only taking up a portion of your year.
?With pitchers in particular,? Fitt said, ?I don?t think anyone wants pitchers to go year-round anymore. That?s not good for anybody.?
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Bradley, who performs 35-40 Tommy John surgeries a year in Pittsburgh, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in July: ?If you?re a parent, the best way to ruin your son?s baseball career is to have them play year-round. The UCL [ulnar collateral ligament] needs rest.?
But adhering to that stance doesn?t take away the risk of injury.
McCarthy broke his foot eight games into his senior football season at Scranton. Proscia suffered a nagging wrist injury in high school football that required surgery while he was at UVa. Sperling, an all-state basketball player at Grafton High School in Yorktown, hurt his elbow while pitching on Senior Day for the Clippers.
Even O?Connor broke his arm while quarterbacking St. Albert?s junior varsity as a sophomore.
?It doesn?t bother me at all,? O?Connor said. ?I?m disappointed. You?re hopeful that they don?t get hurt, but things happen. They can get hurt in many, many ways. I don?t think you refrain from doing something just because you?re afraid of getting hurt.?
Clement, who?s still only listed at 6-foot, 165 pounds, not only stayed with hockey after pledging to UVa before his senior year of high school, he picked up soccer in the fall to ?stay in shape,? he said.
?And we were totally cool with it,? McMullan said.
O?Connor would sound hypocritical had he told Clement to back off any sport besides baseball. Two years after that broken arm ? and already locked into Creighton ? he, himself, was back behind center.
?I didn?t play football my junior year because I didn?t want to break my arm again,? O?Connor said. ?And I regretted every Friday night sitting there watching the team play. I regretted not being out there on the field. I wasn?t going to let it happen again.?
Recruits, O?Connor said, often ask if they should drop other sports and concentrate on baseball after committing to Virginia.
?And I tell them if they stop playing other sports, I don?t want them coming here,? O?Connor said. ?A lot of times they?re surprised at hearing that because they think we want them to hone their skill more before they get here. And I actually think the exact opposite.?
This is where, Fitt believes, UVa might be unique in its approach.
?I think it?s one thing for coaches to like recruiting multi-sport athletes,? Fitt said. ?It?s another thing for them to actively encourage it. I do think that?s pretty unusual.?
Clement led his team in scoring as a junior and senior at Brighton High School, earning all-area recognition both seasons.
He still very much misses hockey.
?Like crazy,? he said.
Aside from the occasional skate on a frozen pond back home, Clement doesn?t have time to touch the ice anymore. He?s limited to dirt now, where the pads are already off.
?I think I kind of play baseball like a hockey player,? Clement said. ?The aggressiveness that you get from hockey, just going head on with a guy, it?s kind of like a pitcher-batter rivalry. I?m going take the guy down.
?You can?t hit anybody out there, so you got to do it in a different way. Just try to hit the ball as hard as you can.?
There?s no five-minute major for batting. 350.
?Competitors,? O?Connor said, ?we love those guys.?
Rodolfo Vieira Wins MMA Debut With First Round Submission
World class jiu-jitsu black belt, ADCC and IBJJF World champion Rodolfo Vieira made quick work of his MMA debut on Saturday February 12, with a first round submission win over Zarylbek Daniyar of Kyrgyzstan.?
Fighting on an MMA event called Arzalat in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Vieira appeared in the main event versus the 1-1 Kyrgyz fighter.?
Working behind a jab, Vieira felt out the opening minutes of the round before hitting a lightning-quick takedown near the fence. A few slick transitions from knee-ride to mount gave him positional dominance. Some soft strikes forced Daniyar to turn, exposing the fighting-ending rear naked choke at 2.27.?
Cornered by his original jiu-jitsu coach Julio Cesar Pereira of GF Team and his head MMA coach Ricardo Liborio of American Top Team, Vieira looked comfortable and confident in his first outing in the ring.